A total of $17.1 million over four years has been provided in the 2017 state budget for three key water safety projects, which will contribute to addressing key priority areas as identified in the Victorian Water Safety Strategy.
This includes $6 million for lifesaving clubhouse redevelopments and urgent repairs, as well as $1.9 million for public swimming pool safety and $9.2 million to teach more Victorian school children how to swim.
New clubhouse redevelopments at Brighton, Jan Juc and Point Lonsdale will receive much needed seed funding to replace deteriorating lifesaving facilities.
Funding has also been provided for urgent repairs and maintenance works at lifesaving facilities. These critical repairs will improve health and safety outcomes for lifesaving volunteers and the public. Facilities to receive this funding will be identified and prioritised through an independent audit process.
Governance of facility funding will continue to be managed by Life Saving Victoria’s (LSV) Facilities Development Committee.
Meanwhile, the public swimming pool safety project will see ongoing funding for coordination and promotion of public pool safety and the development of a Victorian Code of Practice for all public swimming pools.
And following the Victorian Government’s announcement in November 2016 that swimming and water safety would become a mandatory part of the Victorian Curriculum this year, Government and Catholic schools will receive a $50 contribution towards the cost of swimming lessons, based on the number of Year 6 students at the school.
LSV CEO Nigel Taylor said these projects will address a number of priority areas identified in the Victorian Water Safety Strategy 2016-2020 as requiring urgent attention.
“On behalf of LSV, I’d like to thank the Victorian Government for providing funding for these important water safety initiatives, which will work toward our ultimate goal of reducing fatal and non-fatal drowning and water-related injuries in Victoria,” he said.
As the peak agency for water safety in Victoria, LSV will coordinate and collaborate on strategies to promote water safety and prevent drowning incidents. LSV will provide further details to stakeholders as details develop about implementation of these projects.